By Recovering Fundie and Catlover
Throughout my life in church I can say that I have learned at least one life lesson from each minister or youth minister that I have had. Pastor Juan, one of our youth pastors back in California used to tell us that there had to balance in life.
At the time I did not realize how valuable that lesson was. And now, as I look at the Church, I think about what Pastor Juan used to say and wonder why his lesson didn't spread further than my youth group.
Because, sadly, the church lacks balance. Even politics has become a division. The Republicans seem to have made getting into heaven part of a political agenda. The Democrats are considered by many to be against the church. Yet others in the church believe that Christians should never, absolutely not, become political activists. Theological divisions split the church: we are Catholic or Protestant and never the twain shall meet. Protestants are Calvinists or Arminians; pentecostal or conservative; evangelical or non-denominational 'new life'. If we study the bible exegetically others in the church say we border on heresy, for there is naught but the King James version that is the literal Word of God, seemingly handed down by God to Adam and Eve fresh from the Zondervan presses. Other Christians see evolution as an example of God's on-going work. Even music splits the church with some wanting all traditional hymns and others all "Jesus is my boyfriend" type praise choruses. Then there is the major issue of the color of the carpet in the sanctuary ...
I could go on. There is literally a multitude of issues on which Christians do not agree. But where is the balance? Where is the compassion that we should have for one another? Why is it so difficult to open our minds to another point of view, even if we don't agree with it? Isn't the point to be open to people, to other Christians? How can we grow if there is no give and take, no discussion, no contemplation freshened by other perspectives?
This is part of what is killing the church, by driving people from the church and by failing to present a challenging theological environment. Do you see your church life as 'comfort food' for the soul, or do you see it as a challenge, moving you to an expanded, closer relationship with God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit?